By Andrew Gribble, al.com:
As he sat behind a microphone last week at SEC Media Days, Amari Cooper fielded a question that brought back memories of one of his first official interviews at Alabama. Months removed from a relatively disappointing sophomore season — he still led Alabama in receptions (45) and receiving yards (736) — Cooper was asked if he had any statistical goals for his highly anticipated junior campaign. As far as offseason queries go, it’s a common question for an athlete of Cooper’s caliber at a position most synonymous with stat-aware players. In April 2013, just a few months after he finished his freshman season with 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns, Cooper didn’t mince words on this particular subject.
By Andrew Holleran, College Spun:
Motivation seemed to be a problem for Alabama’s football team in 2013. It apparently won’t be this fall. On Tuesday, Nick Saban was in Bristol, Conn., appearing on a variety of ESPN programming. The Alabama coach often discussed last season’s team, saying that some of his players cared more about winning while “looking good” than strictly winning. Saban also said he had to convince his squad “to try to play in consolation game” before the Sugar Bowl contest against Oklahoma.
By Alex Scarborough, ESPN:
He may regret the path, but he can rest easy now knowing the NFL wasn’t right for him and that Alabama was. Seven years later, he’s glad to have roots firmly planted in Tuscaloosa. “‘I’m very happy at Alabama,” he said. “Miss Terry is very happy at Alabama. We certainly enjoy the challenges we have there, the friends we have established here. This is where we just choose to, you know, end our career someday. It wasn’t anything about any other place, it was just about where we are and what we want to try to do with the rest of our career.”
By Marq Burnett, USA TODAY Sports:
Nick Saban has tried to quiet the rumblings, but so far, he has been unsuccessful. Dating back to when the transfer rumors began to swirl, the media, fans and everyone else tabbed Jacob Coker as the next Crimson Tide quarterback. This, despite the fact there is still an active competition for the opportunity to replace three-year starter AJ McCarron.
By Marq Burnett, Montgomery Advertiser:
Alabama wide receiver Christion Jones doesn’t turn away when the infamous “Kick Six” against in-state rival Auburn plays on highlight shows. He doesn’t change the channel or turn off the television. In fact, Jones watches every second of Chris Davis’ punt return that ended the Crimson Tide’s dreams of a three-peat. “I watch the whole thing every time, because it’s motivation,” Jones said. “It lets you understand and it humbles you to let you know that any one can be beat in our league. The SEC is the toughest league in my opinion. So I feel like in this league you have to come with it every night, every day, in practice, in the weight room, no matter where you are. If it’s football-related and you’re trying to get a job done, and we all have the same vision, you’ve got to come out with it every night.”
By Kevin Scarbinsky, al.com:
Steve Spurrier calls it talking season, but there’s been something a little different, a little noisier, a little angrier about it this summer. Bob Stoops made sure to inflate the value of his Sugar Bowl win over Alabama and, for good measure, skewer Kevin Sumlin’s non-conference schedule. Rick Neuheisel, a former Pac-12 coach turned Pac-12 mouthpiece, took great pleasure in mocking Mike Slive. Jimbo Fisher used his bully pulpit as the coach of the defending national champions to suggest that the ACC enjoyed the most dominant year ever last season led by his Florida State team beating Auburn to end the SEC’s seven-year run of national titles.
By Kevin McGuire, NBC Sports:
Alabama head coach Nick Saban is a living legend in the sport of college football. With a handful of national championship rings, Saban has little to prove on the football field even as the game is evolving in a way he is not particularly fond of. Instead of worrying so much about on-field success, Saban says he has stepped back, become more mellow and focused more on the bigger picture for preparing his players for what is ahead of them.
By Alex Scarborough, ESPN:
For better or worse, Nick Saban has a reputation. And after four decades of coaching, it’s not likely to change. He’s gruff. He’s demanding. He’s hard-nosed, unrelenting and oftentimes furious. He is, according to a survey conducted by ESPN, the most-intimidating coach in college football. Of the 58 recruits who responded to a survey, 22 selected Saban as the most intimidating coach they’ve spoken with. The next-highest on the list was Urban Meyer, who was selected only seven times. What’s maybe more telling: Among the 66 recruits who answered the question, “Of all the head coaches you’ve spoken with, who was the easiest to talk with?” none said Saban.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban appeared on ESPN2′s First Take program on Tuesday as part of his ESPN ‘Car Wash’ day. As his segment on the show started, Saban gave his opinion on LeBron James’ recent move from the Miami Heat to the Cleveland Browns. “I heard y’all talking about LeBron. I coached the Cleveland Browns- best (pro) sports fans in America. I was so happy to see that those people are going to have the opportunity to cheer for a great player again, who’s from that area. And it really says a lot about a guy who wants to go back home and please people. I was so happy for the people in Cleveland,” said Saban.